Skip to main content

Oops I did it again

Just I did with ramps, I suddenly decided I needed a new gameplay element that throws off my previous design. This, kids, is why you actually plan things out.

This time it was moving platforms. You know, like many games have, a platform that moves up and down or side to side. Nothing revolutionary here. Although my design, for convenience, originally assumed that everything was on a strict grid. So I took some shortcuts by, for example, snapping your character to the grid when he was standing on a platform. And I also got to assume that the gridded static map tiles were the only things that the main character could collide with for "wall" collisions.
You can't tell from the static image, but these platforms are moving!


Suddenly these moving platforms could cause collisions at any point, not just on the exact grid lines. And the platforms aren't part of my tile map -- they're actually set up as "enemies".  So I had to go back and update my collision code to allow it to both function off the strict grid, as well as to provide a mechanism for enemy collisions to function as a "wall" collision.

That part was relatively easy. Then I ran into an issue where, when the platform was moving downward, you'd do a funny "bounce" thing, where the platform would move out from under you, then gravity would catch up and you'd drop to the platform, and immediately the platform would move out from under you again. It just looked dumb. So I had to rig up some code to "glue" you to the platform if you were standing on it (or clinging to the side of it, which I'll get to in a minute)

Really, it wasn't nearly as painful as the ramps, but it did require some changes to how things worked.

A few other things from the past week or two:

  • I added a "cling" ability that lets you hold onto a wall if you jump onto it. (I tried to get a screenshot of it, but on my laptop it requires simultaneously holding space (to cling), and Fn + alt + insert/PrtScrn, which my computer refused to do)
  • I've had a suggestion from a friend to rework how my limited-use items (slow-mo and portable respawn) work. He mentioned (quite accurately) that nobody will ever use the items, instead they'll save them the whole game, not knowing when they'll need them (he's right). So I'm considering new designs for how that works. I'm currently leaning toward a system where each time you pick one up, it increases your max number you can hold. And every few minutes (5? 10?) you'l regenerate one of the items that you used. So the only penalty for using them is that you'll have to wait to use them again.
  • At the suggestion from pretty much everyone, I've removed my countdown that occurs at the beginning of each level or respawn. I guess it was too much waiting. (Did any of you ever actually play through Ghosts n Goblins? I think I spent at least 12 years of my life watching that level intro each of the 8 thousand times that I died. My game is supposed to be painful, but not THAT kind of painful!)
  • Next up is the "slam" ability, which lets you slam straight downward from a jump instead of continuing forward. (I'm thinking it may also kill enemies, but I'm not sure about that yet)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Retrospex 32 Review

RetrospexInternational recently sent me a couple units of their new handheld device, the Retrospex 32, a new dedicated GameboyAdvance emulator handheld.  To make the unit playable out of the box, they pre-loaded a handful of homebrew games, including Anguna, which is why they were kind enough to send me 2 of the units to play with.  I was pretty excited to get my hands on the device and try it (I loved my old GBA micro with a good flash cart!), and see Anguna running on it. So here's my thoughts after playing with it.



Their website lists the Retrospex 32 for £59.99, which is around $100 USD. It seems like it's marketed toward people into retro-gaming (which makes sense for a dedicated GBA emulator device). At that price, with that target market, and such a limited set of functionality (why not make it a multi-machine emulator, and emulate all the old consoles?), it would hopefully do a really good job of it.

The short version of my review: it doesn't. It has one job (emula…

Making the game fun

The real trick for Spacey McRacey (as I'm calling it now) is going to be making it fun.  And that's what I'm rather unsure about at this point.

I have a game design that basically works. The technical issues are mostly sorted out, I just need to get a few more implemented before I can seriously play test it.

But fun? It's hard to know if it's actually going to be any fun to play.  With a 4-player party-style game, it's seems like it might be hard to hit that fine line where everyone is close and competing, where everything feels exciting and tense, as opposed to tedious and boring.  And despite envisioning my game as fun, it might just be boring to play.

Some of that comes down to tweaking it. Tweaking the speeds, difficulties, etc, will make a difference. (If it's too easy to shoot people from behind, then it will be nearly impossible to hold a lead for very long, which could ruin it and make it no fun. If it's too hard to kill the guy in front, it wil…

Killer Queen

So at PRGE, I played an arcade game that just left me amazed.  Killer Queen.

It's a 10-player game. You have 2 cabinets linked together, and 5 players huddled on each one. Each one is a team of 5 people, working together to play a simple one-screen 2d platformer.  But what made it work was the high quality game design.

First, the game is relatively simple, yet there is a lot going on at once.  One player plays the queen, the most important and powerful character on the team. The others start as workers, but can become warriors who can fly around and attack in a very joust-like flappy contest of height.  The real trick is that there are three completely different ways to win: either collect a bunch of berries and bring them back to your base, or ride a REALLY SLOW snail across the screen (while other people try to kill you, and you hope your team protects you), or kill the enemy queen 3 times.  There's some other things going on as well (using berries to upgrade, capturing upgr…